Notebook, 1993-



Mixed Media

The use of resist techniques, for example, is practical for preadolescents and tends to maintain their interest in their work. The technique of using resists relies on the fact that waxy media will shed liquid color if the color has been sufficiently thinned with water. A reasonably heavy paper or cardboard having a mat, or nonshiny, surface is required. Ordinary wax crayons are suitable and may be used with watercolor, tinned tempera paint, or colored inks. The last are particularly pleasant to use with this technique. In producing a picture, the pupil first makes a drawing with wax crayon and then lays down a wash of color or colors. To provide accents in the work, thicker paint or India ink may be used. The ink may be applied with either a pen or a brush, or with both tools.

Scratchboard techniques may also be handled effectively by older pupils. In using a scratchboard, the pupil scratches away an overall dark coating to expose selected parts of an under-surface. Scratchboard may be either purchased or made by the pupils. If it is to be made, Bristol board is probably the most desirable to use. The surface is prepared by covering the Bristol board, or other glazed cardboard, with a heavy coat of wax crayons in light colors. A coating of tempera paint or India ink sufficiently thick to cover the wax should then be applied and left to dry. Later, the drawing may be made with a variety of tools, including pen points, bobby pins, scissors, and so on. A careful handling of black, white, and textured areas has highly dramatic effects. Both techniques may be expanded in several ways. For example, white wax crayon may be used in the resist painting, with paint providing color. Another resist technique is to "paint" the design with rubber cement and then float tempera or watercolor over the surface. The next day, the cement can be peeled off, revealing broken white areas against the color ground. Lines in dark ink or tempera work well over collages of colored tissues, and rich effects can be obtained by covering thick tempera paintings with India ink and washing the ink away under a faucet. The danger of mixing media lies in a tendency toward gimmickry, but often the use of combined materials can solve special design problems.

India ink and watercolor. The child may draw in ink first, then add color or reverse the procedure.

Watercolor washes over crayon drawings. This is a way of increasing an awareness of "negative space" or background areas.

Black tempera or India ink over crayon or colored chalk. Here the black paint settles in the unpainted areas. The student can wash away the paint, controlling the amount left on the surface of the colored areas.

[Notes From: Gaitskell, Charles D., Al Hurwitz, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Michael Day, Univ. of Minnesota, eds. Drawing and Painting. In Children and Their Art, Methods for The Elementary School, Fourth Edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1982.]



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